For years we bought condensed cheddar cheese soup because recipes called for it. One of our absolute favorite meals, Cheesy Enchilada Soup, called for it in the original recipe and we ate that at least once a month! It never even occurred to me that there would be a way to make it at home. I mean, condensed soup is magical because it's soup that's condensed, right? It wasn't until a few months ago that I finally took the time to create my own version of that recipe using zero canned items. What took me so long??
Oh man, if I had known how simple it was to make this at home with basic ingredients that we always had on hand I would have never bought a can of the condensed stuff. I found this recipe on Real Fit, Real Food mom and adapted it to our food habits and it works perfectly!
I know lots of people don't like using the canned versions because of the huge list of ingredients that are impossible to pronounce. I'm not a huge fan of that either. But the major reason we switched to homemade foods is because of the cost. We are a family of seven living on a single income - we need to wisely steward our money! Meal planning and cooking from scratch is my way of helping us live within our means.
Now, this recipe is so stinking easy that I should really have my kids make it from now on. Four ingredients. FOUR. And it takes about five minutes start to finish. Like I said, so stinking easy!
Homemade Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups freshly shredded cheddar cheese
Melt butter over low heat.
Whisk in flour until smooth, cook for one to two minutes.
Slowly whisk in milk while bringing to a gentle boil.
Mixture will thicken slightly as it bubbles. Once it begins to thicken stir in cheese until melted.
Use in place of one can of condensed cheddar cheese soup in recipes.
Just this week I used this in place of the can of cheddar cheese soup in Plain Chicken's Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole. While my kitchen helper kid shredded cheese I got the butter and flour going on the stove. By the time I had added the milk and got the soup thickening he had my cheese shredded and ready to add in. The cheese melted (and I snapped the pictures for this post!) and we mixed it in to the bowl of tots, ground beef, sour cream, and more cheese. Barely more time than opening and scraping out a can.
I hope you enjoy it!
What ingredients do you use substitutes for in your cooking?
Want more ideas for cooking from scratch, smart grocery budgeting, and meal planning? Join my free Facebook group: Meal Planning with Katie. We share our weekly menu plans, I do live cooking videos, and more! It's a great group for coming up with all sorts of new food ideas when you might be stuck in a rut or just love food.